Hell on earth

In these godless times, the fiery bowl of biblical hell holds few fears for the populace.

Which could be why gallery owner Steve Lazarides is billing his upcoming Dante’s Inferno-themed installation as ’a vision of our hellish society under coalition rule’.

Lucky us, if a Liberal Democrat-Conservative Party coalition Government is the closest we can conceivably come to hell.

After all, while our two-headed administration is making depressing and injurious cuts to child benefits and arts grants, it is hopefully not ushering in Armageddon.
Despite Lazarides’ sixth-form-style politics, Hell’s Half Acre is certainly inspiring some striking works, all of which are based on the 14th-century Italian visionary Dante’s nine circles of hell.

Street artists Paul Insect and Vhils and photographers Boogie and George Osodi will create a series of two-dimensional works, while taxidermy artist Polly Morgan is to weave her usual magic with dead animals.

Meanwhile, artists Conor Harrington and Jonathan Yeo are creating their first-ever three-dimensional installations for the show.

The exhibition’s setting in Waterloo’s cavernous underground labyrinth, which The Old Vic acquired earlier this year, will undoubtedly enhance its baleful atmosphere. Live performance, video pieces and mixed media installations will add movement and a fourth dimension to the visitor’s experience, filling in the blanks to create what looks to be an interesting, if pale, imitation of hell.

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